No. 2: Adrienne A. Jones
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES
The most important lesson she has learned in her career, says Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates Adrienne A. Jones, is this: “You never know when circumstances present themselves, so always be flexible to change.”
It’s a lesson learned from personal experience.
Born in Cowdensville, a historic African-American community in southwest Baltimore County, Jones attended Baltimore County public schools and in 1976 earned her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
After stints as director of the Baltimore County Office of Minority Affairs and executive director of the county’s Office of Fair Practices and Community Affairs, Jones entered the political arena in 1997 when then-Gov. Parris Glendening appointed her to fill a vacancy created by the death of state Del. Joan Neverdon Parker.
In 2019, Jones was unanimously elected speaker of the House following another death, this time of longtime Speaker Michael Busch.
She was the first female and the first African-American speaker in state history – an appointment that she calls her biggest success.
Last month, Jones announced what she called a “Black agenda,” designed to address racial inequalities in health, housing, wealth and more.
Jones lists three Maryland political figures – state Sen. Delores Kelly, a member of the state legislature since 1991, and UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski and his wife Jacqueline – among her top four mentors.
Her fourth is her mother, Eula Mae Williams.
Her fondest hope for the year, Jones said, is that “this pandemic be completely over with no later than the end of this year with minimal loss of life.”
In her free time, the House speaker likes to walk, watch forensic shows and “rest my mind and body.”